Chicago Auto Show Blog

And that’s a Rally

Posted by: Jennifer Morand

Always a highly-anticipated event, automotive manufacturers and journalists descended on one of America’s most famous race tracks, Road America, this week for the 13th annual Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) Spring Rally. The two-day event kicked off with hot laps in some of the hottest vehicles as well as on-road driving. The second day consisted of Rallycross on the FIA-approved go-kart track and an off-road course. Rally-goers could also participate in on-road driving to test-drive the MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year nominees, including the 2015 Chrysler 200, the 2015 Honda Fit and the 2015 Hyundai Genesis, to name a few of the contenders.

Perfectly summed up by Chicago Tribune’s autos editor Robert Duffer, the essence of the 2014 MAMA Spring Rally was “burning rubber, smoking brakes and blue skies. 93 models, 4 miles of race track.” We’ve highlighted just a few of the more popular vehicles on the Road America track this week.

Dodge SRT Viper

The Viper’s first on our list because, well, who wouldn’t want to race around the track in this bright orange American supercar? This racing beauty is hand-built in Detroit with the best power-to-weight ratio of any Viper ever.

Volkswagen Beetle GSR

Who says beetles weren’t made for the track? Certainly not us. The limited-edition Beetle, which debuted at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, packs a punchy turbocharged 4-cylinder engine perfect for zipping around the Road America track. The bug escalates from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds and the sport suspension kept the vehicle level while rounding the sharp turns.

Hyundai Genesis

Not be confused with the Genesis sedan, the Genesis Coupe delivers a standard horsepower of 274 and features beautiful athletic styling. Obviously fun to drive, the coupe was almost always occupied on the track.

Mazda Miata MX-5

Rally-goers loved cruising around the track in the MX-5 Miata convertible and, luckily, the rain held out this year. The Miata recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and released 100 special-edition vehicles that sold out in just 10 minutes!

Bentley Continental GT V8 Coupe

The marketing slogan says it all: a coupe called speed. The GT V8 coupe is the fastest, most powerful two-door coupe that Bentley makes, and the 8-speed close-ratio transmission is enough to make your heart race.

Which of the above five would you most want to take out on the track and why? Tweet us @ChiAutoShow with hashtag #MAMASC14 or leave your comment below!


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